In a bid to further expand its user base, Bharti Soft Bank (BSB) has joined hands with Nokia to pre-load its instant messaging application ‘Hike’ on its smartphones. As per the agreement Nokia will preload Hike on Lumia 510, Lumia 720 and all Nokia Asha Full Touch phones sold in India.
Speaking about the integration, BSB’s Head of Product and Strategy Kavin Bharti Mittal said, “We are very excited to partner with a leading brand like Nokia in the Indian market. For us at BSB, ecosystem partnerships are a critical part of our overall business strategy”.
A 50-50 partnership between India’s Bharti Telecom and Japan’s Softbank telecom provide, BSB recently invested $7 million in Hike. The instant messaging platform offers seamless integration between instant messaging and standard text messaging (SMS). It recently crossed 5 million users and is gradually becoming popular among feature phone users. According to the company about 60% of hike’s user base comes from India and the rest global led by Middle East and Europe.
Last month, Nokia introduced latest Asha 201 with dedicated Whats App button and last year in December Nokia launched Asha 205 with Facebook button. Although the recent partnership with BSB does not put a dedicated hike button on Nokia devices, a pre loaded app will help the former to expand its user based and later to boost its sale.
Mobile instant messaging recently surpassed the SMS and I believe the number will manifold even further in near future with such initiatives.
Website | Hike